The writing is straightforward and direct as suited to the genre. The editing was crisp. The plot isRead the full review at link: Musings Over Nothing
The writing is straightforward and direct as suited to the genre. The editing was crisp. The plot is relatively tight, though I had a few reservations, and the end connects well without leaving any loopholes. The protagonist Prakash is a simpleton who plays Watson to the characters who want to play Sherlock (mind you there are two), whose naivety seem to be a little too simple for my liking.
The subplot about Prakash and Suhashini is an interesting addition to the story about but makes us understand why Prakash had to take the trip. There are several cliches, and I was able to guess the culprit before the cat was out of the bag, though the reason was not clear until the end. The timeline of the story did not bode with me well, maybe it was just me.
The primary feature for a whodunit to win the hearts of the readers is getting them involved in the plot and when the mystery unravels it should be an 'I should have seen it' moment. Most of us who grew up reading Agatha Christie or Sherlock Holmes (or even watching, in case of the latter) might relate to what I am saying about being involved in the story and only for that reason 'And then there were none' or 'A Scandal in Bohemia' stays the top favorite among hundreds of detective short stories for many readers. So how did 'Penumbra' fare in this aspect? I would say it did this in part, except for the *key clue*, which was not available for the reader to help solve the puzzle.
Growing up we would all have played the classic detective board game, 'Clues'. The game consists of six suspects, six weapons, nine rooms, and a murder, the players take turns to guess the murderer, who is randomly selected among the players by a pick of cards. This book is similar to the game and has similar characters. It follows the classic whodunit style.If you were looking for an Indian version Sherlock Holmes or Agatha Christie or our very own Byomkesh you might pick this book. - ...more
Read full review at link: Musings Over Nothing Juliette's writing shows that she is a seasoned romance novelist. I was resonating with her plight to beRead full review at link: Musings Over Nothing Juliette's writing shows that she is a seasoned romance novelist. I was resonating with her plight to be stuck in a suffocating loveless marriage and having an affair before and during her separation even though it is such a taboo. I think it was only due to her writing style that she made me empathize with her and even, justify her actions. Her love for Nick and his for her could not have been captured any better. Even the intimate scenes were beautifully written and honest to say the least, (Note: not suited for young audience - PG rated.)
A few days ago, one of my friends was saying (read as complaining) that he dropped a book mid-way as it had too many characters while none of them had impact on the storyline. I was genuinely shocked and kinda miffed as well. But I was able to relate to this emotion when I was reading this one. Wow Juliette, you do have so many friends! While I am happy for you, but after a while, it became hard even to remember anyone at all, and you know what, it still didn't matter as far as the plot was concerned.
Did I relate to her? No.
Did I like her actions and choices? No.
Did I understand her? Yes, and I think that is where a writer in her shone her best.
And yes there were times that I wanted to throw the book at her, for her choices exasperated me but again, that is people do in real life - mess it up and pick the dust to move on. We all mess up, we all do things that in reflection understand we should not have. But to gather what is left and move ahead to make better choices is what Juliette did. That is what I feel about the memoir, a brave and honest attempt....more
The writing alternates between the diary entries and narrations of the the main characters and their motRead the full review at : Musings Over Nothing
The writing alternates between the diary entries and narrations of the the main characters and their mother . It took me a while to get into the story because of the variations in the voices and these changeovers were too soon for my taste. But once I got into the plot after about 30 pages, I did not drop the book even once for the next two hours. The story thrusts upon the reader mystery after mystery and holds the same suspense and thrill till the last page. More than once I changed my guess on the guiltier person, and the plot thickened even after I completed about 80% of the book, which is highly commendable.
I felt the book could have had some dates to help the reader to form a timeline of the events in his mind, especially since these were diary entries. Though the author had the clarity regarding her plot, there were some untied knots or rather some knots needed better explanation. I wish there had been a clearer narration of what happened on the fateful, yet all I received was biased view from both the sides. Okay, now I am just nitpicking, the last chapter or epilogue could have been done away with and a slightly open ended narration could have let the reader's imagination run riot.
There may have been places that made me feel the writing could have better but hey the making-me-sit-on-the-edge-of-my-seat plot makes up for everything else. Also be warned of the explicit contents like gory violence and rape, scenes related to pedophilia, ritualism and BDSM and mildly abusive language involved. The first book that I could relate this book to is the Gone Girl, though the plots and the writing are nothing similar. If you liked the Gone Girl and you are in the look out for your next psychological thriller, then here is your next book. ...more
Read full review at Musings Over Nothing The story begins with Sister Benedictine's suicide leaving a group of monks on a trail in Spain. Siobhan watchRead full review at Musings Over Nothing The story begins with Sister Benedictine's suicide leaving a group of monks on a trail in Spain. Siobhan watches the story on the television to realize that it was her mother who went missing six years ago. She begins her journey to the isolated convent her mother seemed to have belonged to in a quest to search answers for her questions. She is tailed by the mysterious monks when she finds her mother's confession and a mysterious key. What she learns leaves her confused about her mother's sanity and makes her start doubting her loyalty to her family. Whom would you choose to believe and trust - your mother who abandoned you six years ago or the person whom you have loved and protected until that moment?
The book takes us through two parallel stories from different realms, her mother's story leading to the suicide and the daughter who is trying to solve the mystery behind her mother's disappearance and the subsequent public death. Denise's story and her deal with the Devil had me engrossed and sleep defied me until I completed it. Of course, as always I rooted for the so called bad guy, the Devil and was waiting for him to get his share back. There are quite some graphic scenes of violence, so a word of caution for the faint hearted.
I loved that Lucas's storyline never dropped its momentum anywhere in the story. But I did find a difference in the writing between Denise's and Siobhan's stories, may be it was intentional - or not. The ending seemed to be a little bit hastened and cluttered though that did not affect the reading experience much. I repeat, I can't wait for the sequel. Even though the book did not leave a cliffhanger, there are too many answered questions.
If you like historical fiction/thriller, grab The Devil's Prayer already....more
There are very few books that take you back in time make you feel nostalgic and make you miss those good oRead the full review at Musings Over Nothing
There are very few books that take you back in time make you feel nostalgic and make you miss those good ol' times. The Speaking Ghost of Rajpur by Priyonkar Dasgupta promised to do just that. Read on to know if it delivered what it promised.
Disclaimer: I received the book from The Tale Penseive in exchange for an honest review.
I loved the writing and the idyllic tone the novel was set in. The language is quite simple, and the pace was a tad bit slow for my liking. But for what is lacked in pace was made up by the interesting and quirky characters. Though some might find it little difficult to get past the vivid descriptions and loads of extra details that do not add to the story, when one might enjoy the book if one reads the book as a gateway back to your past. Kudos for the writer to have tied all the loose knots and made it a well-knit story. There were few places where the editors could have done a better job and could have avoided words like 'stuffs', 'wetting in the rains'. I was reminded of the Malgudi Days and Swami and Friends while reading about Rajpur. In fact, I had too many visits and revisits to memories from the past thanks to the book.
Bottomline: If you like Enid Blyton's series like Famous Five, Secret Seven, don't think, just grab the book.
P.S I loved the cover. It is not only beautiful but also intrigues the reader hinting at what to expect. ...more
Meera Sagar had nothing to do but to return back to India after an on stage debacle during her very first performanceSee more at: Musings Over Nothing
Meera Sagar had nothing to do but to return back to India after an on stage debacle during her very first performance as a principal ballerina at New York. She is failing at resisting her parents' attempt to get her married and settled, as any typical Indian family would want to, but she has a larger problem at hand. She isn't able to dance anymore. Enter Abheer and Zoya, who trust her dreams and give her a lifeline to save herself. Does she or rather can she? Read the book to find out.
Though I had no affinity towards the protagonist Meera (rather felt irritated with her, more on that follows), I did like the feisty, helpful yet no nonsense Zoya better. Abheer is definitely drool worthy but I hated that he was not given his due, by both Meera and the author. That brings on my personal rant over the protagonist, Meera. I do understand her flightiness and her trying to be independent and self-standing etc but it didn't work its magic on me. I personally hated her double standards and disrespect to everyone else's feelings and lives. But you know what, it is long since I have felt something for a character - be it good or bad. Kudos on doing that, Author Aarti.
I liked the overall easy pace and postivity throughout the story, even after all that is lost. I liked the flawed characters and realistic storyline. Pick it up if you want to read an easy romance that doesn't ask you to pawn your brain and grammar for a storyline....more
The story set in an 'end of the world' scenario is built around a mother Constance, her daughter Stella (whoRead full review at: Musings Over Nothing
The story set in an 'end of the world' scenario is built around a mother Constance, her daughter Stella (who was her son until a short while ago) and Dylan a young man who has just moved into their neighbourhood. Dylan still grieving the death of his mom and his grandmother, leaves the Babylon movie theatre which was his world until now. He is attracted to Constance, a quirky cool mom who is frowned upon by their mini society for having been in just two relationships in the past 20 years. She is also very protective about her daughter/son Stella, who is being bullied by her former friends.
If you are on the lookout for a complete Doomsday SciFi, then this is not the book for you. Ice Age is a mere backdrop of this well spun story on humans and relationship. In fact, there are inconsistencies in the science and beliefs that we have about ice ages, but those flaws are ignorable for it has some eccentric and interesting characters that make up for it. The characters and the premise are absolutely off the world.
Even with the story moving at a glacial place and that I couldn't relate much to the characters, the poetic writing made me sit through the 300 pages. It handles several difficult themes like coming of age, gender confusion, monogamy, Transgender issues, bullying etc that makes the end-of-the-world seem much less important, intentionally or otherwise.
Bottomline: Read this book if you are interested in the themes like gender confusion, monogamy, Transgender issues, bullying, ignore the slow pace and indulge yourselves in the depth of the writing.
Disclaimer: I received this book from the Random House (publisher) free of cost in return for an honest review. ...more
Read detailed review at Musings Over Nothing The attempt to try and relate an epic into the modern times that we live in is commendable. The naughty anRead detailed review at Musings Over Nothing The attempt to try and relate an epic into the modern times that we live in is commendable. The naughty and witty Krishna as we read or heard from our ancestors has been appropriately dubbed to be a consultant. I was wondering how the book was going to explain Dhraupadi being married to five men at the same time in the modern world, thankfully the book didn't attempt to. Better left untried than to fail miserably at it.
The book had its own quirky moments like having to block gambling sites in Yudhishtra's laptop or turning Sun God to Movie Star or the talks about Bloody Marys. And converting all the specialized battles to games like golf, cricket and even Arm wrestling.
I wish the editorial had spent a little more time and effort to avoid glaring typos. The language and the style of the author's writing is simple yet funny, hopefully it agrees more with the target audience than others. To summarize the whole Mahabharata into 120 pages is a feat and it is just at the correct length to behold the reader's interest.
Bottom-line: Short, quirky breezy read.
Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher free of cost in return for an honest review....more
I liked the protagonist, even if he was the typical south Indian guy and did not do anything that is impressioRead full review at Musings Over Nothing
I liked the protagonist, even if he was the typical south Indian guy and did not do anything that is impressionable. Yeah the kind of guy we usually friendzone at the first instant - the kind of guy we run to when we have an issue. I liked him, but neither do I approve nor would want someone to do the things he does, for me - so yes I feel obviously like Sinduja. (I will get to that later).
I can not say the same thing about Chilakamma, oops Sravani. Having met enough number of Sravani's in my life, all I can feel is nothing towards her owing to the one dimensional focus of the story.
I loved Sinduja, she seemed my kind of girl; someone I could be friends with, and cursed the author for never giving her her dues, apart from the long 'marketing dialogues' (using Sravani's words) on their sibling love and everything else. What is the deal with her and Vinod?
I understand the stale state of relationship between Jai and his family, but it is really odd to see him being so attentive to Sravani, Sailu and their family and even Viji and then completely leaving his family out of the picture. Is there something I am missing about his character?
I loved the writing style of the author. There were too many instances in the story that made me feel as this is as real as it can get. I somehow predicted the end was not going to be something that I was rooting for, but I was okay with the ending as it made sense.
I loved the beginning of the novel in terms of the language. I did not even have to wait for something to happen, because I was reeling among the words. The critic in me wanted to go past the mundane trek itinerary, which had nothing to do with the story at all, but the English lover wanted to stay.
There were too many conversations between Jai and Sravani - I mean too much to even care for. I don't want a peep into someone else's diary, especially if it was not going to contribute to the pace of the story. The pace of the story wavers between slow - accelerated - then a bit drag and all of a sudden at a jet speed and there we are at the end. But having said that, I couldn't put the book down even when the pace was slow.
Bottom line: If you love a simple, no nonsense love story with beautiful language this could be your pick. ...more
Read the full review at Musings Over Nothing The first short story is about 'the girl' who is a writer with incessant suicidal thoughts. She attempts tRead the full review at Musings Over Nothing The first short story is about 'the girl' who is a writer with incessant suicidal thoughts. She attempts to commit suicide thrice but fails miserably. The story starts with her struggling to find a title for her writing all through the story, falling and travelling between lines. I loved the word play and her struggle to cope up with depression and the thin gap between survival instinct and to give up and choose the easy way out.
It took a few pages for me to get into the story, and once we are past that we are worried if she is ever gonna return back to the land of normalcy. The pain of not feeling anything and having no one to speak to hits too near to home to not understand her frustration.
The second story is about another struggling writer again fighting his emotions to go ahead with his decision to die. He knows Despair too well and his tug off war with Insanity and Reluctance creates the necessary suspense in the reader to know if Dave is going ahead with his decision.
I loved the second story better even though it was shorter of the two. It was like watching the Inside Out (the movie) but only darker and more grown up. I know this may not be a fair comparison but I liked the personification of our emotions.
Both the stories wouldn't make you love them or feel happy after you read them, many might be put off by the theme, but they struck a chord with me and make me mull over it for a while.The author's note made a lot of sense and her call to understand and help people affected by depression and suicidal tendencies is welcome.
I picked up the book for its quirky title and I wasn't disappointed and all in about 36 pages! ...more
There are three Point of Views (PoV) in the story; the afterlife of Stark with his family, Joe's inveRead the complete review at: Musings Over Nothing
There are three Point of Views (PoV) in the story; the afterlife of Stark with his family, Joe's investigation about the irregularities related to Stark's death in real time and the fact sheet based on the Dr. John Franklin's psychological profiling of Stark right from his childhood. Though there were places I felt the shift among the PoVs little abrupt and disturbing the flow of the narration, they bring together the past, the present and the future of Stark side by side.
I am not sure what to feel about Stark. Should I say he was intriguing but that would be saying too little. I don't relate to him per se, but how can I not feel awed at someone who knocks off people in such a gory fashion then walks into a bar and asks a mug of beer. Wow, now that is style. He preys on other's lives not because he hates them nor for other petty reasons like vengeance, money or lust, he kills because he can. He loves to feel the power over the victim, it gives him a high. And even after the job done he doesn't feel a remorse, rather just moves on with his life. To say he was the evil personified would be closer to truth, and that is why I like him. In short, the best serial killer I have read. Did I mention he had a tattoo of his tally of 28 murders? Sigh, what is wrong with me. I would love to read more about him. Oh wait there is more to the series? I am picking them up for sure.
I should start with I am in love with the author's writing style, dictum and everything that I could think of. I have been raving about the book and its author to everyone who would listen to, from the day I started reading the novel. I can not believe that Hellbound is the debut of the author David McCaffrey, I am sure to follow his other works. I clearly was hooked from the right beginning and the plot twists kept my pulse rising right till the last page. And the final twist made me go 'Woah, did I read that right?' Well played, David! For someone who reads too much about killers for her own good, Hellbound has been the best read in 2016 (yet). ...more
I have wondered time and again of a world without a government, or without the rules as we know. Most dystopian novels help us have a glimpse of suchI have wondered time and again of a world without a government, or without the rules as we know. Most dystopian novels help us have a glimpse of such a world but a very few makes us wish they were true. Go ahead read if this book made the cut.
Originally reviewed for Musings over Nothing Disclaimer: I received this book from the author free of cost in return for an honest review.
I am so excited about the world the book is set in. A world ruled by corporate, a world that sustains on a assessment of performance - sort of- a class system based on the scores they have cut during the year. But he twist is the scores are based on their popularity or the Fluence points and magine people having to try and get more social credos by updating their social lives to run their normal life. I could not stop comparing the Facebook like that few people are desperate about even in our own world.
The protagonists work for the Bureaucracy - the one that grades people into color codes as a part of disability management department. The department segregates people who have to be supported by the government from the other. Amber is trying to do her duty which is to reduce the number of people of with disability registered, so that she can gain her points for her performance. She is ambitious to move on higher status and focused on that, come what may. Martin on the other hand has lost his vigor to try and win and just wants to stay put on his green status, but to his dismay his score keeps dipping without apparent reason, and he is determined to find out why.
The book is well twined with loopholes and the story is set in a steady pace that it would be quite hard to put it down until you finish it. Being one of the outliers, I would have liked to see more of them and how the system would fall apart. Reading about people pitted against each other and the subject of a shallow morality have always worked for me, and Oram's Fluence is no different.
I liked the author's descriptive tone of narration at most places, it helped to understand the different world we are at - but oh enough of those building and bakeries already. Though I didn't feel connected with any of the central characters, I do understand their actions which speaks much of the author's writing tone. I would look forward to reading more of his books in future for sure.
This Review is a part of the Blogger Outreach Program by b00k r3vi3w Tours...more
Disclaimer: I received this book from the author free of cost in return for an honest review.
When Sarah lost her husband Jake at Afghanistan, it was Ethan Jake's best friend who stood with her and helped her raising Kylee her daughter. When there was a call for a father daughter dance, it was Ethan who dances with Kylee. It was always Ethan who Sarah turned up to whenever she needed someone. But things get not so smooth when Ethan realizes he has feeling towards Sarah as more than best friends. Sarah seems to reciprocate it but she is haunted by the guilt of moving on from Jake. Ethan has his own history of being from dysfunctional and broken marriage.
Things get messy when there is a serial rapist at large, who is obsessed with Sarah. Ethan can not bear to stay as just a friend to Sarah anymore but he has to be around her to keep her alive until the killer is caught. What does it take for Ethan to overcome his demons and reconcile with Sarah? Does Sarah realize there is enough place in her heart for Ethan and still can love Jake as she always has? And how do they catch the smart, intriguing and creepy killer?
My favorite character was Ethan easily, the macho guy with a sensitive kind. I loved how he was with Kylee, though I wondered which 6 year old talked like she did. I hated how Sarah and Ethan played the cat and mouse and was fervently hoping they would get together already. Beyond the romance angle, I was really interested on the serial killer. He more than intrigued me with his stalking and art of sending messages - Yes I am weird like that.
Bottomline - Catch it if you love - heart warming love stories!...more
I received the book for an honest review from the publishers.
The novel alternates between the stories of the main characters starting at the births anI received the book for an honest review from the publishers.
The novel alternates between the stories of the main characters starting at the births and constantly reminds us of how coincidence (destiny?) can make a person a police officer while the other a killer on the run. Both the characters have met death and have been responsible for deaths, before their adulthood. They have an extremely contrasting family brought up and thus arising the question if that had anything to do with the killer's actions.
I finished the book in a single sitting, thanks to the long train journey to Bengaluru and the fast pace of the book. The writing was crisp and an easy read, yet I was unable to reach out to any of the characters. Even after all the tragedy that killer has gone through I could not feel bad for him, and much lesser for the ACP. In fact, after a point my mind lost the ability to react to the innumerable murders, however gruesome they were. I would have felt happy if only there were more actions from the police to catch the serial killer, at least as such as the media seemed to be contributing.
I always get excited for a serial killer (fictional, obviously) and this book promised to show me the psychology behind their action. Thanks to shows like Dexter and Hannibal Lecter which have showed us a glimpse of the persons that the killers are, my hopes were too high and I was more than curious to read about the psychology of the killer from the book but was left to be satisfied with the appendix. Oh I loved the other part of the appendix which had a brief about the lesser known serial killers from India.
Though it might be due to the 'soon to be a motion picture' tag on the cover, that I read the whole book like it was a movie, rather than a novel and I felt there were traces of the yesteryear's movie called Sivapu rojakal (Red Rose, Hindi) in the story line.
If you want to read about a Indian serial killer, this might be a sure catch up. ...more
How far would you let a stranger into your life? How far, if he was a convicted murderer? How far, if he would proclaim it in public?
I have read andHow far would you let a stranger into your life? How far, if he was a convicted murderer? How far, if he would proclaim it in public?
I have read and enjoyed Joan's other novel, 'I am Ella. Buy Me', yet I was surprised by the premise of 'The Killing of Mummy's Boy'. We don't think twice much before spelling our addresses out in public these days, and the possibility that this could happen to anyone of us, made it all the more intriguing.
Sandra has had always a careful life, watching her back and her son's. Her son, Carl is under the Witness Protection Programme for helping convicting the local thug Lee Elliot on a murder. Carl is a reckless youngster, who doesn't seem to understand the grave danger that hung over his neck and blames his mother for making him choose the Programme. She loves him terribly and only the concern over his safety that stops her from rushing to her son's side.
Sandra inadvertently spells out her address to a stranger, who insists on calling her Rosie and proclaims to have been just released out from jail on her journey back home. She learns Ben was in for slitting someone's throat, later from him. She is filled with paranoia that she is being watched by Ben and her house being visited, her rest rooms used and her food tasted. She also finds Ben at the hospital she works, and she realizes the cop were not taking her complaints seriously and won't be around to help her unless there were any crimes committed. She is also a wine aficionado, which helps her get through her days and nights while she dreaded by the unannounced visits.
I loved all the twists in the plot (maybe except the final one) and was genuinely pleased that the character I liked didn't turn out to be the stalker. I had to stop myself tapping my head every time Sandra made a stupid decision, thanks to her being an alcoholic and Ben being the deep sleeper. I disliked Carl and his using his mom as a shield from his own responsibilities even before the plot fell open. Though I hated the dysfunctional mother-son relationship that Sandra and Carl had, I found it credible, kudos to the Joan's attention to detail and writing style.
I loved the writing of Joan Ellis especially, as she did a commendable job on bringing out the pain and fear of Sandra and the vivid backdrop of the 80's. Joan explores the subject of moral righteousness and integrity against family values and loyalty without be judgmental, which worked well for me. I would love to see a movie on this story-line. Now, I should read Joan's other novels for sure. ...more
Disclaimer: I received this book from the author free of cost in return for an honest review.
Five persons from different walks of life and world take a journey of their lifetime to meet a Monk at the Himalayan range. They almost have nothing in common except their thirst to try to seek and learn what they know not about life. No, this has not much to about their pain and suffering (there is), as their paths and destiny towards the Himalaya in search of the elusive Monk.
Remember, when you read or I made you read "The Monk who sold his Ferrari" before it became the 'cool' book? People who said me this was similar to it, you are wrong, this book is lot more than that. I should warn you, this is not an easy read. This is not the book you can read on a dentist waiting room (I tried doing that) nor a book that you would want to breeze through to increase your reading count. But you have to read it - if you had questions that were too cool to ask your parents or those answers you smirk at when they give you. It is a really hard book to get hooked to at least in the first few pages and then out of nowhere you seemed to be nodding without realizing you are.
I am pushing off writing what I really liked about the book. Shashi's writing style and clarity of thoughts. His language held my attention in a book which has such a serious subject, too many descriptive sentences for my liking and a not so fast moving story. Just when you were about to skip a line or so, (only because novels these days requires not more than a speed reading, am not sorry to say that) he just grabs the attention with something so off your balance that you are nodding your head to glory, once again.
This book would be an interesting read if you want to read about not so mundane questions that you can't ask others, like 'why we draw a circle of water around the plate before we eat?(pariseshanam - I think)' or 'why would anyone want to live at such harsh living conditions near Himalayas?. It would be a sure read if you were among the ones that discuss and think about self realization or worry what we do here - go read his book and go have a chat with the author, right then. If you don't fall in either of the categories, and you are anything like me - just go read for his language, nuances and attention to minutest detail, even if the genre is not your cuppa tea....more